NO MORE WASTED TIME
by Beverly Preston
Life isn’t about tomorrow ~ Life is about today
After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning.
Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess.
Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride.
Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet. As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?
When she reached Bloody Mary’s, several couples entered, but she didn’t see Tom. She paced back and forth outside. Should I wait outside or go in?
The deep sexy voice came from behind and she turned to see Tom leaning against a palm tree, looking more gorgeous than she thought humanly possible.
“Hey.” She beamed, sauntering over to join him under the palm tree.
“You look stunning.”
“Thanks, handsome.” She scanned over his flip-flops, jeans and nice black shirt. “I hoped you would show,” she stammered anxiously.
He held her hands in his. “Before you say anything Tess, I need to ask you something, and I don’t want you to get upset with me. All right?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this? I mean, are you really ready to be with another man because this isn’t something I want you to regret later.”
She gazed into his dark eyes and considered his question. “Yes, I’m sure. I want to stay with you, for the rest of my trip.” She clarified with a slight nod.
He cocked his head. “So if I told you right now, at this very moment, all of your belongings are being packed up and brought to another resort, you’d be okay with that?”
“That depends. Are all of your things being packed up and taken to the same resort?” she questioned timidly.
“Yes, whether you decide to stay with me or not. I sent my date home. I changed resorts and I’d like it if you’d stay with me.”
“Are you hungry?”
Hungry for you. “Actually, I’m starving from all the snorkeling today.”
“Do you have your heart set on eating here? I had something a little different in mind.”
Room service in bed? “Wherever you want to have dinner is fine with me.”
“I was hoping you’d say that. I have a surprise for you.” Tom led her across the street to a boat dock. “After you.” He held his hand out to the side so she could step onto the boat before him.
“Where are we going?”
“I think you’ll like it.”
The Tahitian man introduced himself. “Ia Orana, I am Mr. Rene’s cousin. My name is Tayia.”
“Ia Orana,” Tess said.
The boat skimmed across the lagoon, casting ripples through the reflection of the fiery sunset. Cool, moist spray tingled her warm face. She sat between Tom’s legs and leaned back against his chest. I haven’t done this in so long. I hope he’s a good lover. Please, please, please be good in bed. She glanced over her shoulder and he grinned at her. Crap! Is he sitting here wondering if I’m going to be a good lover? Tess sat up a little taller. Oh, I am definitely going to be good for him.
With every draw of breath, her chest lifted and lowered. Tom must’ve noticed her nervousness. He placed his palm over her heart. She felt the hint of his smile as he nuzzled her neck.
She inhaled the scent of his skin. “You smell delicious.”
Tom held her arm out to the side and lowered his nose to the inside of her elbow. “So do you.”
Her gaze drifted to his profile, watching as his eyes closed, taking in the scent of her perfume. The heat from his breath tickled her skin as his lips pressed against her arm. Tess’ lips parted and her tongue toyed with the corner of her mouth, wanting to taste his mouth.
The boat slowed, interrupting her gaze. Tess couldn’t believe what she saw as they pulled up to a deserted motu. “How did you do this?” she whispered in awe.
Tiki torches surrounded a lovely table set with a white tablecloth and a bouquet of flowers. The setting sun cast a glow on the white sand, turning it nearly pink. She held up her dress a little so it wouldn’t get wet, hopping off the boat.
Tom stood in the sand and wrapped his arms around her. “Do you like it?”
“It’s beautiful.” She turned to face him, reaching her lips up to kiss his.
“Not yet Tess, not yet,” he whispered in a teasing tone.
Slighted by Tom’s response, her eyes filled with disappointment.
“Awe, don’t look at me like that.”
Her expression didn’t change, yearning to feel his lips.
His thumb coasted gently over her cheek. “Do you trust me? Hmm? I trusted you with the sharks. Remember? Will you trust me now?” He brushed his lips against her neck, causing goose bumps to cover her skin.
“Yes, I remember. But-”
“I assure you, I’ll make it worth the wait.” He toyed, whispering in her ear. “I promise I won’t disappoint you.”
She remembered how fantastic his hands felt. “I have no doubt.”
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